Workshop Interns

Six young people from around New Zealand will take on the role of workshop interns to assist in the smooth running of the workshop. These interns are also considered workshop participants.

Ngareka Bensemann

Ngareka Bensemann is currently in her fifth (and final) year of a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree at the University of Otago. Throughout her degree she has found a passion for Maori oral health, which was fuelled by a recent summer research project she has done on early childhood dental decay in Maori infants. Ngareka has a keen interest in public policy and how the downstream effects of social, political and economic variants can have a huge impact on the quality of life of many New Zealanders.

Mitchell Denham


Mitchell Denham is currently a participant in the Teach First NZ teacher training programme. This programme addresses the educational inequalities that exist in New Zealand by placing graduates in schools that serve lower decile communities. Mitchell is in his first year teaching English at Northland College, a decile 1a school in Kaikohe. He is passionate about improving the outcomes and opportunities for our young people, especially those affected by poverty. He is of Te Rarawa and Te Arawa descent. He attended the TacklingPovertyNZ workshop, held in December 2015.

Ed HaslamEd-Haslam-160px

Ed Haslam is in his final year of a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Economics and Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington. He aims to use technology to solve the myriad of economic and social problems prevalent in today’s societies. To this end, his research thus far is in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and other technical fields, but holds a wider interest in development, international relations, policy and economic philosophy.

Karina LiddicoatKarina-Liddicoat-160px

Karina Liddicoat is in her second year of a Bachelor of Social Science, with a double major in Psychology and Social Policy through the University of Waikato based in Tauranga. She is mother to a gentle warrior, Ryder. Karina is passionate about people, community, and the future of New Zealand. She is also interested in and cares deeply about the way effective public policy has the ability to affect broad changes that positively impact on the well-being of everyone in society. Karina attended the TacklingPovertyNZ workshop, held in December 2015.

Abbas NazariAbbas-Nazari-160px

Abbas Nazari is studying towards an Honours degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Canterbury. His area of research is the integration of ethnic communities, particularly refugees, within wider society. Abbas is also interested in themes of global citizenry, disruptive technologies and environmentalism.


Zoe PushonZoe-Pushon-160px

Zoe Pushon is currently employed at the New Zealand Productivity Commission. She is working on their latest inquiry ‘New Models of Tertiary Education’, which is investigating how trends in technology, internationalisation, population, tuition costs and demand for skills may drive changes in models of tertiary education. She is passionate about economics and policy, which led her to attended the TacklingPovertyNZ workshop, held in December 2015.